Monday, December 31, 2018


December 2018

by Linda Cliff

BLESSING:  (Merriam-Webster) the act or words of one that blesses; approval; encouragement; a thing conducive to happiness or welfare; grace.

     Over the past year I have been writing a monthly essay for my friend so she could post it on our church blog.  This promise of one essay each month for a year was my birthday present to her.  The other day she told me this gift has made a difference as she only had to be responsible for 40 posts rather than 52, hence a Blessing to her. 

     She is not the only one who has been blessed.  Hopefully some of you have received value if you have been reading the blog.  I know I have.  I just did a quick review of some of the topics I touched on this year.  Prayer seems to be the most frequent topic as well as some amazing books by Yancey, C.S.Lewis, and Wilberforce.  My commitment to my friend is what took me to the church library each month, but I feel the Holy Spirit had a hand in the choices that were made.  As a result I have also been much blessed by this monthly commitment.  I found the book Real Christianity one of the most compelling books I read.  So much so that I couldn’t stop talking about it and as a result others have sought out the book.  The book on the comparisons of different faiths and sects was very enlightening and worth reading to gain an understanding of the beliefs of those we meet in our daily lives.

     This month I read When Jesus Wept, a book of fiction by Brock and Bodie Thoene based on the life of Lazarus. It is a book I
found displayed in the public library so felt it must be there for me to read!  The author takes the well known story of Lazarus being raised from the dead and creates a back story for the reader. 

     I found the description of Jewish life and customs in Judea during Jesus’ ministry helped me to understand the turbulent circumstances of the time. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of John the Baptist and his ministry. There were many descriptions of wine culture, growing of vines, harvesting the grapes and making of wine, reflecting on Jesus as the True Vine. 
     However, I did find some of the fictional accounts of the Lazarus’ sisters Mary and Martha difficult to accept.  But it is a work of fiction and the right of the authors to create as they wish.  The book was easy to read and easy to recommend for some light reading over the Christmas season.

    What’s next you may ask?  Well I am thinking of taking an online course and will make some blog posts about what I’m learning.  I have a New Year’s Challenge to you.  Make a commitment to do something that will be a Blessing to others during 2019 and I believe you will blessed as well. 

A post script from Linda
Library News

Start the New Year Right!  Help yourself to a book from the display by the Library.   These devotional books will help you spend time with God each day.  When finished keep the book and pass it on to a friend.  


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